103 E. Holly St. Suite 214
In Bellingham, we have a keen interest in street-level businesses. We follow their openings and closings, renovations and retoolings with the kind of attention many people devote to their favorite sports teams.
But how many of us look up and wonder who occupies the floors above our coffeehouses, hair salons and comic-book shops?
Not many, I’d wager. Which is what makes the upper stories of the city’s buildings the perfect home for mysterious companies with secretive methods and hidden agendas—and Intellitonic, a full-service digital-marketing agency where transparency isn’t just a company practice, but a bedrock principle.
It’s a bit ironic that Intellitonic occupies some of the mystery real estate I referenced—in their case a suite of offices on the second floor of the Bellingham National Bank Building—and operates in an industry that has a tendency to shroud itself in secrecy, when their whole approach to doing business relies on openness, honesty and empowering their clients.
Founded by Jared Keller, Courtney Rambo, and Alex Bruner—locals with deep resumes including everything from founding Conversica to working for companies such as Chicago Tribune and SPIE—Intellitonic does what many digital-marketing companies do: focus on SEO, PPC and social media marketing to make sure their clients’ online presence is optimized and—most importantly—enjoys as many eyes and clicks as possible.
However, they don’t just toss acronyms like “SEO” and “PPC” around in conversation. Instead, they want to make sure people understand what those terms stand for (Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click), what they mean and why they’re important to a business’ success. Intellitonic achieves results via a process they’ve honed through their considerable collective experience that consists of three parts: “Analyze,” “Optimize,” and “Drivitize” (no, that’s not a word. Yes, they know that). The first step involves auditing a company’s online presence from soup to nuts and assessing their existing market. After that, they turn their attention to the powerful, if not exactly exciting, business of backlinks, keywords, coding and more—the stuff that makes companies digitally desirable to search engines. Lastly, they “Drivitize,” which is Intellitonic-speak for taking all the work they’ve done and using it to drive consumers to the now- analyzed and optimized website.
What Intellitonic does is certainly their reason for being, but how they do it is what makes them different from others in their field—namely, their aforementioned emphasis on education and transparency. That means when you hire Intellitonic to clean up your digital act, your experience is a bit of a choose-your-own-adventure affair.
At the very least, you’ll spend an hour or so a month with them as they update their progress, show you their results, make plans and set goals for the future. However, should you want to control more of your own digital destiny, they will take as deep a dive with you as you’re willing, showing, telling and eagerly passing on the knowledge they possess.
It would seem like a foolhardy business plan—at least for any business that wants to be successful—for Intellitonic to give away the closely held secrets of a little-understood trade. But they don’t see it that way. They’re gambling on the belief that educated consumers are empowered consumers, and that giving clients the tools to understand the power of their online presence will make for a more productive experience for client and Intellitonic alike.
Toward that end, they’ve produced an eBook, Digital Marketing Essentials, authored by Anna Diehl, that, as the title suggests, acts as a primer for anyone interested in marketing and monetizing their online business presence. As stated by Intellitonic, the eBook covers “everything from digital marketing definitions and fundamentals to best practices for search engine optimization (SEO), link-building, pay-per-click advertising, blogging, social media and more. Expect to learn how to implement your own basic digital marketing strategies after reading this guide.”
Even better, the book is free and available to everyone for download at Intellitonic’s website. No popup windows, no mailing lists to sign up for, no strings—digital or otherwise—attached.
If it seems counterintuitive for a company that earns its livelihood from digital marketing to give away the tools needed for people to do their own digital marketing, it is—and it’s very in keeping for a company that prizes transparency and giving back as core values.
“We don’t operate behind a smokescreen,” Bruner says. “Our best client relationships are with those who understand the digital marketing process, but have chosen to delegate their time and resources to other facets of their business.”
And Intellitonic’s spirit of giving extends to more than just guides and eBooks. Indeed, another of the company’s goals from the start was to apply their skills and experience to helping nonprofit organizations. Intellitonic’s founders put that into practice in a number of ways, not least of which is through membership on the boards of Northwest Youth Services, the Sylvia Center, and Sustainable Connections.
So, if ever you’ve wondered about the shadowy force that occupies offices on the floor above the Comics Place, it’s just worldwide-web-slinging folks of Intellitonic—and they’ve got nothing to hide.
For more information about Intellitonic or to download Digital Marketing Essentials, go to http://www.intellitonic.com